To me it's always been self-evident that Israel is not a democracy (both because its discrimination against non-Jews within its internationally recognized borders and its military occupation and rule over the Palestinian Occupied Territories) but many Israelis are themselves shocked at the formalization of discrimination against Israeli citizens who are not Jewish. Here's how Jerry Haber aka "The Magnes Zionist" puts it (last link below):
Yesterday, the State of Israel became the first western state whose High Court ruled that some citizens have fewer fundamental rights than other citizens based on their ethnicity. Actually, it had done so before, but yesterday it rejected the most sustained challenge to the “Citizenship Law,” which bars the non-Israeli spouses of Israeli Palestinians from becoming citizens. So while an Israeli Jew from Brooklyn has the right of marrying anybody she likes, and having her spouse naturalized, a native Palestinian Israeli citizen cannot marry a distant relative who lives in a town five minutes from her house – unless that relative was a Palestinian collaborator, working for the Israelis, and then, only by special approval of the Minister of Interior.
Some reading on the matter:
- High Court okays Citizenship Law, legalizing racial discrimination of Arabs
- ynet אדמונד לוי נגד אשר גרוניס: על מה הוא מתבסס? - חדשות
- The quiet man who's making a storm in Israel's Supreme Court scene: Justice Asher Grunis - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News
- The Magnes Zionist: Israeli “Democracy” Descends Lower into Hell